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Electronic Filing Project

In collaboration with the National Association of Attorney's General/National Association of State Charity Officials (NAAG/NASCO) and GuideStar, NCCS has developed an online system, the 990 Online, for charities to complete all their federal Form 990 and state registration filing requirements and file these forms electronically.

E-Filing of IRS Form 990s and state charity forms benefits nonprofit organizations, regulators, researchers, and donors alike. NCCS has been working since 1999 to make it a reality. We now offer a free and easy-to-use web-based system, 990 Online, for completing your IRS Form 990, 990-EZ or 8868 (application for extension). Click here to try the system.

Electronic filing of IRS Forms 990 is coming to the nonprofit sector. From Amazon and eBay to registration of cars systems, and the IRS's 1040, electronic commerce and e-government have become commonplace.

In the mid-1990s, the Internal Revenue Service began offering individual taxpayers the option of filing their annual 1040 returns electronically, through TurboTax, H&R Block and other authorized transmitters. The Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 set a goal that the IRS receive 80 percent of all returns electronically by 2007. Taxpayers were attracted to the ease and accuracy of e-filing, as well as the quick refund. As of Aug. 2005, 67 million returns were e-filed with the IRS. (http://www.irs.gov) In 2004, nearly 10 million returns were prepared on home computers. (http://www.govtech.net/magazine/channel_story.php/89797)

Since 2002, NCCS has helped make electronic filing available in Pennsylvania and Colorado. In 2004, the IRS began accepting electronically filed Forms 990 and 990-EZ. In 2005 and 2006, NCCS expects to help many more states implement electronic filing.

Over the long term, e-filing will revolutionize our knowledge of the nonprofit sector. The IRS Form 990 provides a uniform set of comparable information on most nonprofit organizations. Just as the combination of uniform reporting requirements and computer technologies have revolutionized the ability of ordinary investors to learn about public traded for-profit companies, we expect that the dramatic reduction in the cost of collecting and analyzing Form 990 information made possible through e-filing will lead to an information-rich �sector information system� that will meet the diverse needs of nonprofit managers, foundations, donors, regulators, and policy-makers.

Despite great strides made by GuideStar and the IRS (and NCCS) to make Form 990s more accessible, collecting and comparing Form 990 information remains a difficult and expensive process. Not only will e-filing improve access to the information, it will also improve the quality of the reporting.

  • IRS e-Filing and Imaging, 2008
  • 990 Online Walk-Through
  • NASCOnet and E-Filing: A Detailed Powerpoint Presentation (Jan. 2005)
  • NASCOnet XML Briefing (Jan. 19, 2005)
  • Benefits of Electronic Filing
  • Charities Ready and Willing to E-File: Results of a 2002 survey
  • History of IRS E-Filing
  • NASCOnet and E-Filing Overview (2004)
  • State Professional Fundraisers Registration System (1/2005 presentation)
  • Is access to a computer a barrier to efiling?
  • 990 Online Electronic Filing Flyer

    • IRS e-Filing and Imaging, 2008

      Pages scanned: 12,540,530
      Returns scanned: 655,779

      PFs:
      Returns: 92,877
      Pages: 2.4 mil.

      990 501(c)(3)s:
      Returns: 267,709
      Pages: 6.55 mil.

      Non-c3 990s:
      Returns: 124,444
      Pages: 1.9 mil.

      990-EZ 501(c)(3)s:
      Returns: 103,816
      Pages: 1.254 mil.

      Non-c3 990s:
      Returns: 66,933
      Pages: 413,506

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    • 990 Online Walk-Through

      The NCCS 990 Online system provides a free web-based system for nonprofit organizations and their tax form preparers to complete the IRS 990, 990-EZ and 8868 extension form. In 2005, we will be adding state charity registration and renewal capabilities.

      File: 5540d84ec73c7.ppt

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    • NASCOnet and E-Filing: A Detailed Powerpoint Presentation (Jan. 2005)

      This detailed presentation (73 slides) explains how state and federal e-filing work. It includes slides showing how the Unified Registration Statement can be implemented electronically and the interface for managing returns used by State Charity Officials.

      File: 5540d84ec641a.ppt

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    • NASCOnet XML Briefing (Jan. 19, 2005)

      Conference call briefing for software developers and state charity officials.

      File: 5540d84ec94c3.doc

      File: 5540d84eca21a.pdf

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    • Benefits of Electronic Filing

      Electronic filing of IRS Forms 990 will bring many benefits:


      • A higher quality Form 990 Desktop990 software contains automatic checks for consistency and accuracy of the information, and provides reminders about possible omissions, which will eliminate many common errors.

      • Accessible, timely information The time between IRS receipt of an organizations Form 990 and its posting on GuideStar will be reduced. Electronic data from e-filed returns will allow funders, donors, and volunteers easier and faster access to information.

      • Catalyst for coordination of reporting requirements Meeting multiple reporting requirements is time consuming and costly for charities, and takes away from the resources available to do program-related work. E-filing will simplify the process of reporting.

      • Strengthened public trust The public is more aware of the Form 990 than ever before. Easier access to data in a usable form will help strengthen public trust in the sector and increase nonprofit credibility. The best auditors are those who are making donations and grants to charities.

      • Easier identification of charities of interest With electronic information, enhanced on-line repositories of information about charities will enable funders, donors, and volunteers to quickly and more accurately identify organizations with programs, services, and activities of interest for example, homeless shelters in a specific geographic area, or organizations providing information to mothers with AIDS.

      • Valuable information for nonprofit managers The electronic database created with e-filing will be a valuable source of information for nonprofit managers who want to benchmark their performance against comparable charities, create meaningful outcomes measurement, or reality test salaries and other expenses for better financial management.

      • Comprehensive research Electronic data in a usable format will help researchers better capture and describe the contributions to society made by charities, analyze the impact of proposed legislative changes, and provide better data for policymakers.

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      • Charities Ready and Willing to E-File: Results of a 2002 survey

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      • History of IRS E-Filing

        This summary compiled by the IRS highlights milestones for individual and business e-filing.

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      • NASCOnet and E-Filing Overview (2004)

        NASCOnet is a joint project with GuideStar supported by the Department of Commerce. This PowerPoint presentation on the project was presented at the National Assocation of State Charity Officials meeting in October 2004.

        File: 5540d84eb8c1d.ppt

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      • State Professional Fundraisers Registration System (1/2005 presentation)

        NCCS has developed an online system for Professional Fundraisers and Counsel to register online in Pennsylvania. They can also submit new contracts with charities online. We hope to expand this system to other states in 2004 and 2005.

        File: 5540d84eb7a69.ppt

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      • Is access to a computer a barrier to efiling?

        Lee Gomes of the Wall St. Journal (6/13/2005) reports:
        "How low can they go? Over the past few weeks, personal computers reached a significant milestone: The price for an entry-level but fully loaded system fell below $300.
        "Now, PCs cost less than some telephones -- and less than a lot of TV sets -- and can be found in roughly three-quarters of U.S. homes. But while they are priced like consumer electronics, the machines still aren't even remotely as easy to use, and the trend lines there aren't particularly encouraging. In fact, with price no longer as significant an issue, the continuing complexity of computers may become the biggest contributor to any 'digital divide' between digital haves and have-nots, especially involving access to the Internet."
        Competition between cable and phone companies may be lowering the cost of high-speed access to the Internet in some areas, he also reports.

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      • 990 Online Electronic Filing Flyer

        Feel free to download the efile flyer to share with others!

        File: 5540d84f1850e.pdf

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